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Exhibition sheds light on Plečnik's work on Prague Castle

Ljubljana, 21 April - The museum that was once home to Slovenia's finest architect launched a special exhibition on Friday to shed light on Jože Plečnik's refurbishment of the residence of the first president of Czechoslovakia and the personal relationship between them.

Prague, Czech Republic
A show on architect Jože Plečnik at the Prague Presidential Palace.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

The renovated Plečnik House in Korunova Street.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Thomas Masaryk (1850-1937), the first democratically elected president of Czechoslovakia, commissioned Plečnik (1872-1957) to renovate Prague Castle, which served as his office and living quarters.

Masaryk saw the castle's transformation into the president's seat as having a nation-building role, while for Plečnik it was a reaffirmation of his belief in the importance of national culture.

The architect was impressed by the president's philosophical views, his humanism and ethic principles and the pair established deep mutual respect and understanding, the Plečnik House explained.

The house, situated in the Ljubljana's Trnovo borough, put on the exhibition in collaboration with the Prague Castle Archive.

The display, entitled Plečnik and Prague Castle: Apartment for the first president of Czechoslovakia, features plans and photographs of the premises designed by Plečnik and his original chairs.

Prague Castle became the seat and residence of Masaryk and his family in 1918 and in 1921 Masaryk entrusted Plečnik with the job of renovating it according to the wishes of his family.

Plečnik designed the president's apartment as a large complex of private living quarters, the president's working room and official premises.

During the development of the project, Plečnik worked closely with Masaryk's daughter Alice. The apartment was completed at the end of 1929 and the next year Plečnik left Prague.

However, Alice believed that her collaboration with the architect would continue and hoped for his lasting return to Prague, which is evident from the correspondence between them.

Masaryk renounced the presidential post in late in 1935, and the same year Jože Plečnik resigned as the architect of Prague Castle.

The exhibition at the Plečnik House is running until 25 June.

© STA, 2017